Public Policy and Civic Engagement Apprenticeship APPLY NOW

Remote or Virginia
15 usd / hour

Session One is from September- December

Our nation was founded on the principle that anyone who works hard should be able to get ahead in life. People with disabilities deserve the opportunity to earn an income and achieve independence, just like anyone else. For decades, people with disabilities working together have advanced major legislation to improve their lives. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a key example of how different groups came together to enact change through civic engagement and coalition building to change or enact legislation. The disability rights movement led to the ADA, but there are still regulations in place that prevent the full integration of people with disabilities in society and only one-in-three working-age Americans with disabilities is employed.

Public Policy and Civic Engagement Apprentices are ambassadors for the policy work of RespectAbility and will support the broad work of RespectAbility’s Policy and Civic Engagement Department. Assigned project will help to advance our nation-wide policy agenda, educate candidates for public office about disability issues, and support existing state-based coalition building strategies. Apprentices will work substantively to contribute to RespectAbility’s work by developing resources, researching new materials and publishing reports.

Who We Want

The National Leadership Program is ideal for people who want to gain skills and contacts while making a positive difference for people with disabilities. We are looking for thoughtful and results-driven individuals who want to achieve breakthrough results while getting hands-on experience. The Apprenticeship is for college and graduate students (with an interest in pursuing a career in government or public policy) as well as for people transitioning into the workforce for the first time, or back into the workforce after a break.

Apprenticeship Duties

The Apprentices will work closely with the Director of State Policy and the Policy and Practices Director. Individual projects will be assigned based on an individual’s unique skill set and their own ability to “bring something to the table.”

Projects will include researching federal or state legislation, leading outreach effort to connect with candidates running for public office, writing press releases about emerging issues in a nonpartisan way, submitting public testimony to state agencies, expanding databases of state/local contacts, and other work as assigned.

Upon the completion of the Apprenticeship program, applicants can expect to come away with experience in the field of public policy, professional networking connections, and leadership skills to help them grow into confident advocates.

Each Apprentice will receive many opportunities to learn new skills, network, and gain direct experiences. In addition to hands-on work experiences, all Apprentices will participate in special presentations by guest speakers. Each Apprentice will develop their own career plan and will work to advance the necessary skills to begin turning that plan into a reality.

Important Details for Applicants

  • Excellent communication and organizational skills are strongly preferred.
  • Apprentices should exhibit leadership skills to complete their own projects.
  • Strong preference for college seniors and above.
  • The Apprenticeship program lasts five and a half months.
  • Hours are 9-5. Apprentices are required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week though more hours per week is preferred.
  • Apprentices will receive $15/hr.
  • Your cover letter must explain what you bring to the Apprenticeship and why you believe you have the skills, focus and independent drive to make a positive difference in your time with us at RespectAbility.
  • A timed writing test will be included as part of the application process.


  • A minimum commitment of 20 hours per week.
  • Participation in staff meetings and team meetings.
  • Attendance in weekly speaker series.
  • Work with the National Leadership Program Director on advancing your career goals. This will include strengthening your resume, cover letter and building your professional network.

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